Title: We Should All Be Feminists
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Pages: 65 Pages
A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, based on her 2013 TEDx Talk of the same name.
An eBook short.
What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay – adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century – one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences – in the U.S., in her native Nigeria – offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a best-selling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today – and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
I’ll start this review with a personal anecdote.
A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I were discussing what he would like to do for his birthday. He said that he would like to stay in a really fancy hotel that we had been looking into staying in for a while. I thought that this was a great idea and since it is six months until his birthday it gives me time to save up. When I told him this, he became sweetly defensive and told me that he didn’t expect me to pay for it. This was lovely of him to say because I earn substantially less than him. What I earn in a month he can in 3 times that amount in a week. However, it will be his birthday and I told him no, that I will pay for it. We then argued for a bit and I posed the question to him asking if it was my birthday and I wanted to stay somewhere would he let me pay and he became quiet before agreeing that he wouldn’t let me. When I asked him what the difference was his response was….wait for it…. “because I am a man.”
Apparently you need to have a penis to pay for hotels these days. Who knew?
Now my boyfriend is a good guy, he is respectful and he does believe that everyone (not just women) should have equal rights and I would even say that he is a bit of a male feminist. However, these ideals of men have money, they pay for things, this is how the world works mentality is so ingrained in our minds and societal functionality that even he slipped up and made this faux pas.
This whole theme of male power is the concentration of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s essay, We Should All Be Feminists. This essay was only written a few years ago but the same issues are happening everyday in modern society: men get paid more for the same jobs that women do; men still hold the majority of high paid positions; women still take on the bulk of housework whilst holding down a full time job. Now, of course, you could argue that these are massive generalisations and I am homogenising groups for my own pleasure but, come on, even you (dear review reader) have to admit that there is some truth in what I am saying.
Please give this short essay a read; it is fascinating in the fact that many things that we take for granted – both women and men (linguistic flip intended) – and gives us a deeper insight into modern society and how much things have changed yet how much there is still yet to achieve.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is available now.